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FDA Cautions Against ‘Vaginal Rejuvenation’ Treatments, Says They Might Cause Serious Side Effects

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There has been a growing number of dubious claims about vaginal rejuvenation treatments, which supposedly can cure incontinence or painful sex for older women.

Such treatments, however, might lead to adverse effects, according to the Food and Drug Administration — including vaginal burns, scarring, and increased pain during sexual activity.

FDA Cracks Down On Vaginal Rejuvenation Treatments

The federal agency has sternly cautioned against the use of these treatments, warning doctors not to resort to using laser or other energy therapies to treat sexual dysfunction or other issues affecting women following childbirth or menopause. Needless to say that the FDA has yet to review, let alone recommend, these procedures.

"The deceptive marketing of unproven treatments may not only cause injuries but may also keep some patients from accessing appropriate, recognized therapies to treat severe medical conditions," said FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb in a statement. "Women considering treatment for vaginal symptoms should speak to their doctor about the potential and known benefits and risks of all available treatment options."

Why Vaginal Rejuvenation Devices Are So Popular

The agency has sent letters to various manufacturers about the "inappropriate marketing" for vaginal rejuvenation devices, saying they should stop promoting those products outside of their approved uses — should they fail to comply, they could face mandatory recalls and product seizures.

One such product that comes to mind are the Jade Eggs sold by lifestyle brand Goop, which is owned by Gwyneth Paltrow. Here's how it's described on Goop's website:

"Used by women to increase sexual energy and pleasure, this nephrite jade stone helps connect the second chakra (the heart) and yoni for optimal self-love and well being."

These products are typically not covered by insurance, especially more serious treatment procedures, which are often referred to as "designer vaginoplasty," "revirgination," or "G-spot amplification." These alternative options have risen to popularity as more doctors recommend it to women. Some of the companies that make the devices have hired advertising firms to pitch doctor and patient testimonial to newspapers, TV, and digital publications, framing their campaigns as a way for women to "take back control of their health." Some celebrities, including Jada Pinkett Smith and Kim Kardashian, also often promote these procedures.

The FDA says these companies have not undergone the correct approval process required to show that the treatments they offer work as advertised or even that they're safe to use.

"The procedures use lasers and other energy-based devices to destroy or reshape vaginal tissue. These products have serious risks and don't have adequate evidence to support their use for these purposes. We are deeply concerned women are being harmed," said Gottlieb.

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